Have you been giving an important presentation or and suddenly heard a voice in your head saying something like, “That was a dumb idea. Now they will find out that you don’t belong here”?
Maybe it was something similar. Let’s call this voice your inner critic. Today, we’ll talk about dealing with it so it won’t get in your way.
1 – Leading ThoughtWhere the mind goes, the man follows. — Joyce Meyer Click To Tweet
2 – Your Choice
Our thoughts are so powerful that books exist about it, and famous sayings have addressed the astounding effect of mere thoughts on our destiny. You may have heard it before:
Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.(Unknown / Multiple Attributed Authors)
Our thoughts matter. They give us what we need to make decisions. They direct our actions, and as we know all too well, our actions matter at work and in life. If our thoughts have that much impact, we need to pay attention to our thoughts before we can change our actions.
But most often, life is so fast-paced for leaders that it seems difficult to pay attention to what we are thinking. To catch an unruly and destructive inner critic, you need to pay attention.
The inner critic is something we form and nourish during our childhood and throughout our lives. The inner critic has a helpful and a harmful side. On the good side, it prevents us from doing something harmful; it is protecting us. For example, if you heard the kids in school tell you to make an impressive (but stupid and dangerous) stunt, your inner critic would have shown up to tell you how dangerous it is. If you listened, you informed it that it was right, and you began to trust the voice to keep you safe.
But what if you had also listened to the inner critic when the danger was inflated or downright nonexistent? If you still listened, you were kept from an opportunity. The inner critic’s harmful side is the enemy of your growth and success.
What can you do?
If you have obstacles in your life fueled by the thought of failing, not being good enough, or being a fraud, then it’s time to pay attention to your thoughts.
Write down when you encounter this type of thinking. Write down what exactly your inner critic is saying. Is it true? If it isn’t true, what truth do you use to replace that nagging thought? Write that statement down. Ask yourself what attracted you to the thought that you entertained it so much.
If the thought is true, how much of it is true? What can you do about it? What are small steps in your control? What’s beyond your control?
Keep listening and asking good questions about what you hear. Apply your problem-solving skills to this as if it was a project at your job!
3 – Way to Grow!
As always, here are a few more resources on this week’s topic:
- The Cure for Impostor Syndrome (Audiobook) – 21 min.
- How to Crush Self-Doubt and Build Self-Confidence (Audiobook) – 23 min.
- Don’t Let Impostor Syndrome Derail Your Next Interview (Article) – 6 min. read
Here’s to making leading choices!
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